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Psychol Rep. 2011 Aug;109(1):219-30.

Intentional faking of the single category Implicit Association Test and the Implicit Association Test.

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  • 1Department of Basic Psychological Research, School of Psychology, University of Vienna, Austria.


The Implicit Association Test (IAT) provides a relative measure of implicit association strengths between target and attribute categories. In contrast, the Single Category Implicit Association Test (SC-IAT) measures association strength with a single attribute category. This can be advantageous if a complementary category--as used in the IAT--cannot be composed or is undesired. If the SC-IAT is to be a meaningful supplement to the IAT, it should meet the same requirements. In an online experiment with a large and heterogeneous sample, the fakability of both implicit measures was investigated when measuring anxiety. Both measures were fakable through specific instruction (e.g., "Slow down your reactions") but unfakable through nonspecific faking instruction even though nonspecific instruction was given immediately before the critical blocks (e.g., "Alter your reaction times"). When comparing the methodological quality of both implicit measures, the SC-IAT had lower internal consistency than the IAT. Moreover, with specific faking instructions, the SC-IAT was possible to fake to a larger extent than the IAT.

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